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      NMU senior tackles dreams of going pro

      It's been a lifelong dream of Zach Nichols to play wide receiver in the NFL.

      "I started off wanting to be in the NBA, but you know, being white and six foot three, there are more football players with those characteristics than basketball players, said Nichols. So, football...I decided to go with football.

      Nichols has played football since eighth grade; he recently finished his career at NMU. But the Brighton native said he hasn't yet reached his full potential.

      "I don't think I accomplished everything I can playing football at Northern, and I wanted to keep playing, Nichols said. I don't feel like I'm done yet, personally."

      Nichols has been working to achieve his dream at Advantege Training in Marquette. He's been training three days a week, working two hour sessions to get in shape for GLIAC Pro Day at the Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids where NFL scouts will put him through a workout. Zach's trainer, Brian Claus, said he has what it takes to make the cut.

      "I've never seen anybody that was as gifted and athletic as Zach, said Claus. He's really got all the tools that he needs to be in the NFL. I strongly believe that."

      One area Nichols has been working on is speed. It will be a crucial to his success.

      "Brian really, he wanted to get my speed up because that's a huge deciding factor on if I get picked to a team or not, Nichols said. So we've been working on the treadmill."

      Nichols will find out whether he has been picked up for an NFL team next month. He hopes all of his hard work will pay off.